Escape Into Life

7:00 AM

Sigmar Polke. Escape Into Life, 2003
By REID GUEMMER

Known as one of the most experimental and versatile artists of the twenty-first century, Sigmar Polke creates a style that is both contemporary and unique. Polke manages to evolve his technique using various mediums while retaining a sense of individual purpose and intention. During Polke's five decade career he experimented with countless different mediums including drawing, painting, photography, film, sculpture and print making. He combined these mediums to create an impact unlike anything people had ever experienced. Polke's primary goal was to stay active as an artist, partaking in what he defined as contemporaneity and what was so essential to the creation of art, the "debate with existing reality."

Polke has the ability to produce exceptional art in any medium. Escape Into Life is just one example of his work extending boarders. Polke projected an image of women harvesting onto a canvas, using the image as a template. To achieve his own take on a pop art-esque style Polke traced the projection using dots. He layered the image with a watercolor finish, adding a depth and modern feel. 

An essential to understanding Polke's social critics is being aware of the content of his life. At the age of twelve Polke's family immigrated from Poland to West Germany. He recalls that the war stripped his family of both their belongings and identity, although the experience provided him with a blank template and a chance to create his own. He worked as an apprentice for a glass painter at the age of eighteen learning the lost art and later attended Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. There he worked under the influence of Joseph Beuys. Alongside his peers, he developed the "Capitalist Realism" movement. The movement critiqued American pop art and the mechanics behind the production. Escape Into Life, created in 2003, is a reminiscent piece of the movement. 




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